Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Intellectual and developmental disabilities are long-lasting, often permanent conditions resulting from mental or physical impairments. They usually affect language, mobility, the capacity to learn and the ability to live independently. Most intellectual and developmental disabilities can be detected as early as infancy. New advances in technology sometimes allows accurate detection while the child is still in the womb.
The Most Common Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Here are a few of the most common intellectual and developmental disabilities:
- Fragile X syndrome (FXS) — is more prevalent among males and is considered to be one of the most common causes of autism.
- Down Syndrome — is caused when an individual is born with 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. The extra chromosome causes significant delays in the child’s mental development, as well as physical difficulties.
- Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) — makes it difficult for individuals to communicate and interact with others.
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) — is a result of alcohol use during pregnancy, resulting in various physical deformities of the face, stunted growth and/or poor coordination, as well as intellectual and behavioral problems.
- Cerebral palsy (CP) — is the most common motor disability. Individuals with CP find it difficult to maintain balance which in turn leads to posture and movement problems.
- Intellectual disability — is a learning impairment that is diagnosed before an individual reaches age 18 with an IQ of 70 or below.
Physical Health Issues
There are certain physical health issues that are associated with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People with Down Syndrome, for example, have very poor heart function.
Mental Health Issues (Dual Diagnoses)
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities may also develop mental health issues as they grow older. The following conditions are the most common causes of the development of I/DD with mental health issues:
- Suffering abuse, bullying or other forms of harassment.
- Dealing with social restrictions on a daily basis.
- Side effects from constant use of prescribed drugs and other medication.
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